A prehistoric settlement with cairns and a historic tin mill, streamwork and buildings lying adjacent to the Langcombe Brook

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016145

Date first listed: 14-Mar-1962

Date of most recent amendment: 06-Aug-1997

Map

Ordnance survey map of A prehistoric settlement with cairns and a historic tin mill, streamwork and buildings lying adjacent to the Langcombe Brook
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1016145 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 17-Oct-2018 at 03:49:00.

Location

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: South Hams (District Authority)

Parish: Shaugh Prior

County: Devon

District: West Devon (District Authority)

Parish: Sheepstor

National Park: DARTMOOR

National Grid Reference: SX 60492 66932

Summary

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Dartmoor is the largest expanse of open moorland in southern Britain and, because of exceptional conditions of preservation, it is also one of the most complete examples of an upland relict landscape in the whole country. The great wealth and diversity of archaeological remains provide direct evidence for human exploitation of the Moor from the early prehistoric period onwards. The well-preserved and often visible relationship between settlement sites, major land boundaries, trackways, ceremonial and funerary monuments as well as later industrial remains, gives significant insights into successive changes in the pattern of land use through time. Stone hut circles and hut settlements were the dwelling places of prehistoric farmers on Dartmoor. They mostly date from the Bronze Age, with the earliest examples on the Moor in this building tradition dating to about 1700 BC. The stone-based round houses consist of low walls or banks enclosing a circular floor area; remains of the turf or thatch roof are not preserved. The huts may occur singly or in small or large groups and may lie in the open or be enclosed by a bank of earth and stone. Although they are common on the Moor, their longevity and their relationship with other monument types provide important information on the diversity of social organisation and farming practices amongst prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

The archaeological landscape within the vicinity of the Langcombe Brook represents a diverse range of archaeological features and structures belonging to two of the major periods of upland exploitation. The juxtaposition of well preserved settlement remains and funerary monuments provides important information regarding ritual and localised land division in the prehistoric period. The adjacent historic tin streamworking earthworks provide information relating to exploitation and processing techniques, whilst the survival of so many shelters and storage buildings provides evidence of the working conditions and requirements of the tinners.

History

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Details

The monument includes a prehistoric settlement, three ring cairns, six round cairns, a post medieval tin mill, a series of streamwork earthworks and several tinners' buildings. The settlement includes three simple enclosures, two of which are associated with stone hut circles. Lying between the enclosures are six round cairns standing between 0.6m and 0.2m high. Two of the ring cairns lie adjacent to the stone hut circles within the eastern enclosure and each contains a cist. The final ring cairn lies north of the northern enclosure and has an internal diameter of 16m. The tin mill lies close to the River Plym and survives as a rectangular structure with a clearly defined wheel pit. A mortar stone lies against the outer face of the western wall. A series of linear earthworks immediately south of the mill may represent the dressing floor. The mill is later than the streamwork in this area which survives as a series of parallel banks lying at right angles to the River Plym. The streamwork within the Langcombe Brook survives as a series of discreet areas of parallel banks. At the northern end these lie parallel to the brook. In the centre they lie at a 45 degree angle to the stream and are revetted with large boulders on their downstream side. The southern part of the streamwork contains unrevetted dumps which lie either parallel or at right angles to the brook. Within the Langcombe Brook streamwork there are at least five rectangular or oval structures built into the earlier streamwork earthworks and these are considered to be the shelters and storage buildings of the tinners' who streamed this area. A final shelter was built into an earlier disused stone hut circle.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Legacy

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 28787

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1994)
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1994), 148-50
Gerrard, S, 'Devon Archaeological Society Proceedings' in The Dartmoor Tin Industry: An Archaeological Perspective, , Vol. 52, (1994), 179
Other
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard, (1996)
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard, Gerrard, S., (1996)
Thackray, C., The Upper Plym Valley: The management of an historic landscape, 1994, Archaeological Site Inventory
Thackray, C., The Upper Plym Valley: The management of an historic landscape, 1994, Archaeological Site Inventory
Thackray, C., The Upper Plym Valley: The management of an historic landscape, 1994, Archaeological Site Inventory
Thackray, C., The Upper Plym Valley: The management of an historic landscape, 1994, Archaeological Site Inventory
Thackray, C., The Upper Plym Valley: The management of an historic landscape, 1994, Archaeological Site Inventory
Thackray, C., The Upper Plym Valley: The management of an historic landscape, 1994, Archaeological Site Inventory
Thackray, C., The Upper Plym Valley: The management of an historic landscape, 1994, Archaeological Site Inventory

End of official listing